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Utilities Impose Rolling Blackouts As US Power Grid In Emergency Amid Cold Blast

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Sunday, Dec 25, 2022 - 01:30 AM

Update (2030ET): 

Con Edison is asking its 1.1 million natural gas, 3.5 million electric, and steam customers in the New York City Metropolitan region to conserve energy due to frigid weather. 

"Conserving energy as much as possible now will help ensure adequate natural gas supplies for the rest of the weekend," Con Edison said.

"Owners of natural gas pipelines have reported that equipment problems caused by the cold weather and the heavy demand for natural gas are challenging their ability to provide adequate amounts of gas throughout the Northeast," the utility company continued. 

Add Con Edison to the growing list of utilities and grid operators that warned about grid stress issues due to surging heating demand. 

Read below for where rolling blackouts have been reported. 

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Update (1724ET):

As night settles and temperatures plunge again, power grids in the country's eastern half are under severe stress. Review the latest updates for reports of widespread rolling blackouts. 

Another utility has just warned about grid chaos. Dominion Energy has asked customers in Virginia and North Carolina to conserve power. The utility said high electricity demand would continue for days.  

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Update (1720ET): 

ISO New England warned it has "insufficient reserve supplies" and asked members to "voluntarily curtail power" amid grid strain. 

According to Bloomberg, the grid operator declared an energy emergency level 1 and requested utilities to reduce electricity consumption. 

"We have declared a power caution for the region, and is calling upon reserve resources due to the unexpected loss of generation and imports," spokesman Matthew Kakley said in an emailed statement. 

Power demand soars above forecast, and supplies are tight. Power prices average more than $2,000 per megawatt hour across the grid. 

About 70% of the power generation mix is oil, nuclear, and natural gas, while unreliable renewables barely account for 6%.

ISO New England has yet to implement rolling blackouts. We note below rolling blackouts have been used by utilities across parts of the Southeast US.

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Update (1445ET):

More power disruption could be seen tonight as temperatures are expected to drop again as heating demand soars.

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Update (1243ET):

Add Georgia to the growing list of states experiencing rolling power blackouts. 

White House remains silent as Americans are plunged into power blackouts amid grid instabilities on Christmas Eve. Biden's social media team continues to pump tweets about how everything is wonderful. 

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Update (1200ET):

Utilities have issued rolling power blackouts across North Carolina and Tennessee this morning. 

News just hit Bloomberg that Tennessee Titans delayed the home game against Houston Texans over power concerns. 

Extreme cold temperatures are pressuring power grids in the eastern half of the US. Rolling blackouts have affected many Americans, some of which have taken to Twitter to complain: 

This is unacceptable. 

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Update (1115ET):

PJM Interconnection's power generation mix this morning is primarily coal, natural gas, nuclear, and crude oil. So much for unreliable renewables helping out when the regional grid that supplies power to 65 million Americans in 13 states and the District of Columbia is in an emergency. 

It's time for Americans to realize renewables are unreliable -- also, decommissioning fossil fuel power generation in the name of 'climate change' is idiotic at this point. 

*  *  * 

The powerful winter storm that battered a large swath of the eastern half of the US has left behind an Arctic chill Saturday morning. A regional power grid with 65 million customers in 13 states and the District of Columbia has declared a rare emergency, over a million people have no power, air travel remains disrupted, and reports of highway accidents are some of the most trending topics this morning. 

Let's begin with PJM Interconnection, a regional power grid that stretches from Illinois to New Jersey, which declared a Stage 2 emergency late Friday and asked customers to conserve electricity due to the rising risk of grid instability. 

"PJM is asking consumers to reduce their use of electricity, if health permits, between the hours of 4 a.m. on December 24, 2022, and 10 a.m. on December 25, 2022," PJM wrote in a press release. 

PJM's request for customers to reduce power comes as the grid manager is trying to prevent a Stage 3 emergency, which would result in rolling blackouts across the 13 states and the District of Columbia. 

"Demand soared more than 9 gigawatts above forecasts Friday evening — much faster and higher than anticipated. That's the equivalent of about 9 million homes just popping up on the grid on a typical day," Bloomberg said. 

PJM spokeswoman Susan Buehler told Bloomberg that Stage 2 emergency would "certainly be enough" to avert blackouts across the regional grid because the Arctic blast is only temporary. 

In the Carolinas, Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress, and several other utilities, have asked customers to conserve power due to energy shortfalls. 

Duke wrote in a statement Saturday morning it has "implemented load shedding steps that include interruptions in service." This means power is being curtailed for some customers to protect the grid from collapse. 

With power grids in an emergency across the eastern half of the US, there are also a million customers without power -- most outages are in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Maine. 

Bloomberg said 200 million Americans — around 60% of the country — are under winter weather alerts this morning. 

The Ambient Weather network of weather stations across the US shows much of the country is below freezing this morning. 

And for the third day, travel remains disrupted. FlightAware showed over 1,600 flights within, into, or out of the US were canceled. Another 1,700 were delayed. Most of the disruptions were at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, O'Hare International Airport, and John F. Kennedy International Airport.

And it wasn't just air travel that experienced troubles. As millions of Americans hit the highways to see loved ones, there were numerous reports of massive pileup crashes. One of the most spoken about this morning is the 46-car pileup on the Ohio Turnpike.  

The good news is the unbearable cold blast will begin to dissipate next week. Average temperatures across the Lower 48 will jump from 24 degrees Fahrenheit to over 50 degrees by January 1. 

Hoping for a White Christmas? 

There's not one peep from climate alarmists about the cold blast after they spewed nonsense this past summer about the world imminently burning. 'Trust the science,' they say... 

Guess what's trending on Twitter this morning. 

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